"grasshopper fiddlings"

A reference to one of the title characters of the fable by Aesop (620-560 BC), “The Grasshopper and the Ants.” Aesop depicted the grasshopper thoughtlessly singing the summer months away while the ants toiled to save up food for the winter. Starving by then, the grasshopper is rebuked and turned away by the ants for his idleness.

There have been many subsequent retellings of the tale, but it may have been a 1934 Disney cartoon that specifically put a fiddle in the grasshopper’s forelegs (as well as joined other adaptations in having the ants save the grasshopper from certain death in the dead of winter).